From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast.
Thoughts for Today:We're going to spend the next few days looking at how to avoid disasters, or rather the thinking that leads to various calamities in our lives.
In our passage today, we find the centurion has obtained transportation for Paul and the other prisoners aboard an Alexandrian ship heading for Italy. The sailing has become quite difficult (they needed to take some unexpected detours) and as a result, much time has been lost. Luke tells us in his narrative, "...Sailing has already become dangerous..." Why? Because it was late in the season Ð after the fast (the Day of Attonement). Winter storms would soon begin to approach out of the north.
In other words, they got a late start which was further compounded by the detours. The situation outlook had gone from poor to dangerous. This reminded me of a recent news story regarding a yacht that ran itself aground on the rocky shoreline of Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California without its captain aboard. It seems Craig McCabe had gotten a late start from Long Beach to Newport Beach for some repairs on his boat. Near midnight and foggy, McCabe thought he heard his boat run into lobster traps and become entangled. As he looked over the side of his boat he lost his footing and tumbled into the 59 degree waters below. When he saw his boat continue to motor off into the night without him aboard, I wonder if he rethought his plan to leave for Newport so late at night, by himself, in the fog, and through coastal waters dense with lobster traps? As he bobbed about in the dark freezing waters without a life jacket, I'll bet he questioned his judgment, maybe even thinking, "How could I have been so foolish?"
Ecclesiastes 8:6 tells us, "For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man's misery weighs heavily upon him." This verse basically says there is a right way (both time and procedure), and a wrong way to do just about everything. And if you choose the wrong way (or start too late in the season as in our passage today), watch out for the misery.
Questions to Ponder:You have many choices to make today and every day Ð we all do. We also know in our hearts the right choices to make. Some are inconvenient, others require greater preparation, and some even take longer. Remember, "there is proper time and procedure for every matter." Will you choose the right way to do things? Will you give yourself enough time?